Losing a Baby, Why Do These Things Happen?

Depressed young lonely womanI went to the funeral of a baby on Friday. It was my cousin’s child; she had a miscarriage because her water broke at 18 weeks. Her son was perfect, just not developed enough to make it on his own.

Everyone deals with loss in their own way, and having had a stillborn ourselves I understand the impact that the loss of an unborn child can have.

Its in moments like this that the inevitable question seems to always come up. “Why does God let these things happen?” or the variant with the same intent “Why do things like this happen?

My uncle asked me this on Friday, he seemed to want to put me on the spot, suggesting that a pastor should have the immediate ”theological” answer for that question.

I hesitated, not because I couldn’t give an answer but because in my experience with the same issue, the “right” answer doesn’t actually help. Most times it can make things worse because it doesn’t speak to the issue of emotion and heart felt loss. The “right answer can’t meet them in their anger, frustration or sadness.

My wife and I wrestled through this ourselves 6 years ago. We were desperate to find a reason to hold onto – one that would help us feel better about what had happened.

My answer has two aspects (and probably more but two for now):

  1. We live in a broken world. God’s plan for mankind and their place on earth were distorted when Adam and Eve chose to disobey his one limitation in the garden. Since then things have been broken, hurt happens and what was intended to be a perfect world no longer is. For this reason, bad things happen – and they suck, but they aren’t “caused” by God.
  2. Good comes out of bad. As simplistic as this sounds, when we turn to God and give him our grief, relying on Him for the strength we don’t have in ourselves to make it through something so awful, we are brought closer to His heart. He doesn’t want us to suffer, and as the creator of empathy he understands how we feel and even FEELS what we feel along side us, just like a best friend cries with us. Jesus cares more than the best friend you could imagine – so where else would He be in moments like this but right by your side ready to be the shoulder you need to cry on and the friend that’s holding you tight.

You may or may not find added purpose in the midst of your loss, but you can find a depth of peace that is unimaginable or explainable to anyone who doesn’t know Jesus.

I’m sorry for your loss, honestly and desperately I am. I may not know the exact details of your situation but I have felt similar (click here for our story-viewer discretion advised). And please don’t take this as a brush off or easy answer – I know it isn’t easy, I know it’s a process that will take time to sort through, I also know that God does not take joy or pleasure in your pain and He is ok with you asking, crying out and even screaming at Him for answers in the midst of it all.

My prayer for you is that eventually, when you are ready, you will find the peace that only God can offer.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7

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